Paternalistic giving: restricting recipient choice

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We consider the relationship between paternalism and motives for giving and assess the role of donors’ perceptions of the recipient. We theoretically incorporate the tradeoffs introduced when donors may choose how a donation is realized, cash or in kind (i.e. paternalistically) and design an experiment to examine how differently motivated donors realize their giving. While donors of all types prefer in-kind donations, the extent of paternalism depends on the donor's motivation for giving. Warm-glow givers are significantly less inclined to give paternalistically, supporting a form of warm glow that is independent of perceptions. Our findings pertain to fundraisers and policymakers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-170
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • Altruism
  • Experiment
  • Paternalism
  • Perceptions
  • Warm glow

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